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The Fear

What 100 New Yorkers think about our leading contemporary causes of freaking the hell out.


(Photo: Hannah Whitaker/New York Magazine)

How would you describe your mood these days?
Zenlike indifference, plus I love springtime! . . . . 16
Not too bad. . . . 32
Fidgety. . . . 19
More anxious than usual. . . . 26
Freaked out all the time. . . . 3

What are you most worried about?
The economy in general. . . . 35
Getting a new job now that I’ve lost mine. . . . 14
Keeping my job. . . . 12
Swine flu. . . . 12
My kid’s future. . . . 9
Terrorism. . . . 5
TARP not working. . . . 3

Has the recession made you appreciate more what you already have?
Yes . . . . 81
No . . . . 10
Don’t have anything anyway . . . .7

Do you have trouble sleeping?
Often. . . . 20
Sometimes. . . . 43
I sleep like a baby. . . . 35

Are you staying in more because of the economy?
Yes. . . . 49
No. . . . 49

Have you caught yourself noticing swine-flu-like symptoms?
Yes. . . . 17
No. . . . 81

Have you stopped eating pork because of the flu scare?
Yes. . . . 2
No. . . . 65
I never eat pork anyway. . . . 22
This is a stupid question; you can’t catch swine flu that way. . . . 10

What else are you doing to avoid flu?
Washing hands obsessively. . . . 49
Staying inside more. . . . 4
Not kissing people. . . . 6
Not shaking hands. . . . 2
Not taking the subway. . . . 2
“Wearing mask on subway, hand sanitizing.”
“Not kissing pigs”

Has the economic climate reduced your willingness to do any of the following?
Use credit cards. . . . 33
Buy an apartment/house. . . . 26
Leave your job. . . . 24
Go back to school. . . . 13
Have a baby. . . . 9

How afraid are you of swine flu?
What’s that? . . . . 4
Not worried whatsoever . . . . 5
A little nervous . . . . 38
Actively taking precautions against catching . . . . 10
Totally terrified . . . . 3

Does Obama know what he’s doing with the national economy?
Yes. . . . 66
No, but he has good intentions. . . . 27
Not at all. . . . 3
He’s a socialist out to destroy America’s greatness. . . . 3

Does Bloomberg know what he’s doing with the city economy?
Yes. . . . 53
No. . . . 45

Do you think that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is a prisoner to Wall Street’s interests?
Yes. . . . 32
No. . . . 47

Are things going to get better:
Later this year. . . . 31
Next year. . . . 27
2011 or later. . . . 38
Probably never. . . . 3

Are America’s enemies taking advantage of our weakness?
Yes. . . . 37
No—they’re weak right now too. . . . 61

Did you see the 747 flying low near the Statue of Liberty before it was explained that it was part of an Air Force photo shoot?
Yes. . . . 17
No. . . . 81

If yes, how much did it scare you?
Not at all. . . . 6
I got pretty worried. . . . 10
I thought it was another attack . . . . 1

Were you evacuated from your home/office during the confusion?
Yes. . . . 4
No. . . . 94

What will have the most value as currency after the apocalypse?
Gold. . . . 40
Cigarettes. . . . 7
Hard liquor. . . . 17
Ammunition. . . . 28
“Love.” “Swiss chocolate.” “Pot.”

Jokes about the apocalypse are …
Hilarious. . . . 24
Getting a little played out. . . . 35
Becoming too plausible to be funny. . . . 21
Played out, but not as played out as pirate jokes. . . . 16

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


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